Press release from The Mary Rose Trust
22 July 1998
Lottery winner to lead the world
A lottery award announced today will allow one of the world's top
conservation projects to lead the world in vital research.
The Mary Rose project in Portsmouth has been awarded UKP91,600 by the
Heritage Lottery Fund almost 453 years to the day that this revolutionary
warship, and favourite of King Henry VIII, sank. The money will be used to
pay for air-drying equipment for the final conservation process of the hull.
Although the two-stage polyethylene glycol (water-soluble wax) treatment of
waterlogged wood has been well researched, the final stage of controlled
air-drying of such large timbers has not. As a consequence, there are many
similar projects around the world which are keen to learn the results.
Therefore, all findings will be made available.
Dr Mark Jones, Head of Collections for the Mary Rose Trust, was delighted
with the award. He said:
"An unsuitable drying regime could destroy the timbers of this national
treasure and we have only one chance to succeed. The eyes of the
conservation world will be upon us, but we are sure that the continued
faith which the Heritage Lottery Fund has in our small team of conservators
will prove justified."
Mike Corfield, Head of the Ancient Monuments Laboratory at English
Heritage, is eagerly looking forward to the results. He said:
"The conservation of ancient materials requires sound understanding of the
way those materials have degraded. This award allows the conservators to
determine the best way of preserving valuable cultural material.
The underpinning research is vital in this process, particularly since
materials from marine envirornments have a highly varied composition. It is
rarely possible to have a simple cook book of treatments."
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant represents 75% of the cost of the
air-dryers. The remaining 25% is match funded by the suppliers of the
equipment, Watford-based company Weiss Technik Ltd.
For further information, in the first instance please contact: Gareth Dupre
or Andy Newman at The Mary Rose Trust, tel 01705 750521.
Mary Rose web site: http://www.maryrose.org
Mary Rose email: [log in to unmask]
Dr Michael Heyworth Council for British Archaeology
Bowes Morrell House, 111 Walmgate, York YO1 9WA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1904 671417 Fax: +44 (0)1904 671384